Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

Nats (finally) wave the white flag

46 comments

The Nats drop kicked Murphy to Chicago. photo via federalbaseball.com

The Nats drop kicked Murphy to Chicago. photo via federalbaseball.com

It feels like perhaps it was 3 weeks too late … but today the Nats started trading away whoever they could get through waivers for whatever they could get in return.

Moved so far: Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams.

Apparently not moving due to negotiations: Bryce Harper (you gotta hang on to that supplemental 4th round pick you’re picking up for him!).

Still worth moving: all our other FAs to be, which are Matt Wieters, Gio Gonzalez, Ryan Madsen, Joaquin Benoit (a great use of payroll he was), Kelvin HerreraJeremy Hellickson, and Mark Reynolds.  And maybe Tim Collins and Tommy Milone too.

I’m not sure how much you could get back for any in that last group; maybe someone wants to take a flier on Hellickson or Herrera.  Reynolds could be a bench bat for some contender once the rosters expand.  The rest are either at replacement level or hurt.

I’d like to take this time to note just how much payroll is coming off the books for the coming off-season FA period:  $94M.  That’s right: $94M.

  • – Bryce Harper, $21M
  • – Daniel Murphy, $17.5M (waived, traded)
  • – Gio Gonzalez: $12M
  • – Matt Wieters, $10.5M
  • – Ryan Madsen: $7.6M
  • – Shawn Kelley, $5.5M (DFA’d)
  • – Matt Adams: $4M (waived, traded)
  • – Joaquin Benoit: $1M
  • – Kelvin Herrera: $4.4M remaining
  • – Jeremy Hellickson: $2-$6M depending on incentives (use $4M in total)
  • – Mark Reynolds: $? but probably $1.5M or so
  • – Brandon Knitzler $5M (traded)

Add that up and even with my middle of the road estimates for Hellickson and Reynolds its $94M.  That’s an awful lot of money.  And it doesn’t include the random MLFA signings who have since come up to the majors and may have had split contracts (Tim Collins, Tommy Milone in particular).

And here’s what your 25-man roster looks like for 2019, right now, with no additional acquisitions:

SP: Scherzer, Strasburg, Roark, Ross, JRodriguez/Fedde
RP: Doolittle*, JMiller, Grace*, Suero, Glover, Cordero, Adams, Solis*
C: SKieboom, Solano
INF: Turner, Rendon, Zimmerman, Kendrick, Difo, Sanchez
OF: Soto, Eaton, Robles, Taylor

Admit it, that’s not half bad.  Remember, Joe Ross was pretty darn good before he got hurt and before the team yo-yo’d him for no good reason at the beginning of 2017.   I’ll take that outfield, with Michael Taylor as a 4th outfielder/defensive replacement.  Did you forget we had Howie Kendrick?  I’ll take him starting at 2B to get his solid bat in the lineup in the #7 hole.

So the bullpen looks a little rough, and nobody trusts that 5th starter spot, and yes that’s a big black hole at Catcher.  But $94M should be able to buy fixes for those holes right?

Written by Todd Boss

August 21st, 2018 at 3:37 pm

Posted in Nats in General

46 Responses to 'Nats (finally) wave the white flag'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Nats (finally) wave the white flag'.

  1. You forgot Raudy Read, who’s been raking of late and should be in line at least for the backup catcher’s job.

    It was an awful, pathetic season highlighted by Harper finally deciding to become the team cancer sportswriters warned about when he was drafted, as well as the antics of the single stupidest man ever put in charge of an MLB team (Martinez reminds me of the Flair Guy who was Jennifer Aniston’s boss in Office Space). And I still have tickets for 7 more games.

    Karl Kolchak

    21 Aug 18 at 4:13 pm

  2. I agree that next year looks ok, compared to a total rebuild situation, but 2020 drops off more without doing something to offset: Roark, Rendon and maybe Stras are gone, with Max entering age 36 season.

    There is a lot of work to recreate another quality team, and mostly at pitching. Extending Rendon covers a lot of lineup issues, especially with Kieboom joining by 2020.

    Wally

    21 Aug 18 at 4:30 pm

  3. I guess the other thing that I’m feeling is some disappointment in Rizzo. First time ever, really. He’s bashed in a few places and I’m nowhere near that, but he just didn’t seem to know his team this year, and made some questionable decisions at various junctures.

    But whatever, it’s time to clear out the rest of the guys that aren’t part of the next wave, and use this remaining time to evaluate whomever you think is close and might be part of next year.

    Wally

    21 Aug 18 at 5:45 pm

  4. Also, in your money calculation, don’t forget that both Strasburg and Scherzer are in line for $20 million raises next year. Zimmmerman is due $4 million more, Eaton $2.4 million more, Doolittle $1.7 million more and Rendon and Roark both will get hefty raises in the arbitration process and Taylor is also arbitration eligible.

    That will cut that $94 million figure by up to $60 million.

    I would expect the lion’s share of that cash to be spent on another big time starting pitcher and at least two veteran relievers, with stop gaps at catcher and 2nd base while they wait for Kieboom to be ready and see if Read can play enough defense to be the starting catcher in 2020.

    Also, keep an eye on Garcia. If he takes another big step up next year, he might just put himself in line to be Rendon’s replacement, since giving a long extension to a guy who’ll turn 30 the first year of the extension and has had some major injuries in the past (plus is represented by Boras–meaning no hometown discount) is a huge risk. Also, watch out for Israel Pineda, who is raking as a just-turned-18 catching prospect at Auburn. He could be the next Soto/Robles/Garcia.

    Karl Kolchak

    21 Aug 18 at 6:22 pm

  5. In 2016, Daniel Murphy led the NL in OPS, SLG, and doubles, was defrauded out of a batting title, and coulda/woulda been MVP (almost 50 OPS points higher than Bryant). He was having nearly as good a season in 2017 until he got hurt. He is one of my all-time favorite Nats.

    I understand why Tuesday had to happen. The Nats are in a position where the best thing they can do for the future of the franchise is try to get under the luxury tax. However, Rizzo totally mangled his response to that question at the press conference when he mumbled something about not knowing whether these moves would get them under the tax, or come close. Look Mike, that’s the ONLY reason you made these deals. I know that most of the fan base doesn’t understand the luxury tax (heard one caller yesterday complaining that they didn’t get a top-30 prospect for Murphy!?!), but it’s a big part of the game, and that’s why you did it.

    I also understand why the team waited as long as it did to deal. The recent 5-9 stretch just killed them. Flip that to 9-5 and they’re only 3-4 games out, despite the hash they’ve made of the rest of the season.

    KW

    22 Aug 18 at 8:23 am

  6. Karl; agreed on payroll implications of deferred money/due pay raises. I didn’t want to do those calcs for the purposes of that rant :-) Still, even with due raises, and with the tamping down of FA pay, I think this team should easily be able to fill its holes with FA contracts.

    Rendon’s pending free agency: the thing I like about extending Rendon is this: he’s so under-rated that he won’t command upper-end money on the market and may very well sign for a reasonable amount longer term. He’s low-key, has stayed pretty healthy, is amazingly consistent at 3B… and maybe just takes over that veteran quiet leadership mantle from Zimmerman for the team. I’d like that. Yes i know he’s a Boras guy but something tells me the industry is going to change drastically in the next CBA negotiations and Boras will need to make adjustments…

    Todd Boss

    22 Aug 18 at 9:47 am

  7. Rizzo and Payroll; make no bones about it; this front office completely screwed up the payroll. How do you “miss” the ceiling by $1.5M? Then, how do you not take the right steps to get under it the next year? Or, save that, just throw caution to hte wind (like Boston is doing) and completely blow past it trying to win?? Instead this team seemed to be completely indecisive throughout last off-season and this season in terms of transactions.

    The reliever dump-jobs of Knizler and Kelley were embarassing for Rizzo; it was like he was the big brother sticking up for his kid little brother who couldn’t handle his own issues. Yup; great hire that Dave Martinez has been!

    Todd Boss

    22 Aug 18 at 9:49 am

  8. I also loved Murph. Wouldn’ be against him coming back, spending a year floating around then taking over 1B.

    I agree that they seem to have misunderstood or mismanaged the luxury tax. I’d heard that the disagreement last year had to do with the bonus Max got for Cy Young, and whether it was applied retroactively or prospectively.

    I do not think these trades were made for lux tax purposes; I think that’s shot and they know it. I think it was a pure cash savings, which I could care less about for them. I am disappointed that it neither brought back a legit prospect nor opened up time for a young guy.

    I will say that if these trades signaled a white flag, and allow Martinez to use the bullpen guys more freely so we can see if the Suero/Glover/Cordero/Adams/anyone else can contribute next year, then that’s a positive.

    Wally

    22 Aug 18 at 11:57 am

  9. I’m very disappointed that the Nats called up Sanchez (.232/.287/.346 at AAA) and Stevenson (.235/.318/.338), both of whom probably should have been DFA’d this year. No Robles? (As I’ve argued, he probably wouldn’t play much if they brought him up.) But why not give a look to their Cuban investment, Yadiel Hernandez, whose OPS is 119 points higher than Stevenson’s? (He’s 30 points higher than Stevenson in wRC+.) And what about Jake Noll or Austin Davidson instead of Sanchez?

    As for pitchers, yes Wally, let’s see Austin Adams, Austen Williams, and Kyle McGowin. The latter two will be 40-man decisions sooner or later this fall. In the upper minors, McGowin has produced better than Fedde. Is that legit?

    If Fedde is healthy, get him in the regular rotation, even if it means bumping Gio (if they can’t make a waiver deal to send Gio packing). I’m still not convinced that Fedde is an MLB starter, but PLEASE, let’s find that out now, not repeat the Cole silliness from the beginning of this season.

    KW

    22 Aug 18 at 12:58 pm

  10. On the luxury tax–it’s more inexplicable because of how being over also reduces the draft pick compensation for Harper. I absolutely agree, if you’re going to go over, go WAY over.

    It is yet another example of how much Rizzo’s effectiveness as a GM seems to be rapidly declining. He hasn’t made a “great” trade since the Turner/Ross deal and he’s now blown 3 of their 1st round picks on bad “lottery tickets” (Unless you believe Fedde will suddenly get good or Romero will find Jesus or something).

    But the worst thing is Rizzo’s continued inability year-in and year-out to build a solid bullpen and how in recent years his midsession patches have cost them dearly in terms of talent. It was incredible to see two former Nats’ relievers become all star closers this year while the much vaunted law firm completely fizzled because (surprise!) Madson is old, Doolittle is fragile and Kintzler was never that good in the first place. Why couldn’t they figure out how to turn Rivero and Treinen into what they needed– or even properly develop AJ Cole as a reliever for that matter? When Jesus Luzardo becomes the game’s next great young ace that trade will represent Rizzo having finally had done to him what he’s done to other GM’s in the past.

    That’s a long winded way of saying that after nearly a decade in the GM’s chair, Rizzo appears to have reached his sell-by date.

    Karl Kolchak

    22 Aug 18 at 1:38 pm

  11. THANK YOU for including Kendrick. I know he’ll be coming off a serious injury, at an advancing age, but he’ll still be useful.

    @KW I don’t think any of the names you mentioned are on the 40 man roster.

    @Karl Read isn’t on the 25 man roster presently, so he’s not listed, but I think he’s in the mix.

    ckstevenson

    22 Aug 18 at 2:05 pm

  12. On Raudy Read: decent enough numbers in AA this year. Is that going to be enough to supplant Severino, Kieboom on the depth chart? I dunno.

    Todd Boss

    22 Aug 18 at 2:42 pm

  13. Only Adams is on the 40-man. But the 40-man shouldn’t be an issue right now. There’s no loss in blowing out a lot of guys who aren’t going to mean anything going forward: Matt Reynolds, Sanchez, Stevenson, Voth, and Severino. Some team may pick up Severino, but who cares? I’d move Milone to the 60-day DL or DFA him as well. That’s six slots, affecting nothing for 2020 and beyond.

    Also, I’m not on the Raudy Read train. The catching solutions will have to come from outside the organization.

    KW

    22 Aug 18 at 3:28 pm

  14. I am with KW 100% on his comments.

    I think Rizzo rightly deserves criticism this year. But I’m not going to second guess him on the Doolittle trade, though. We knew it was very costly at the time, but that 2017 team was their best, the opening in the league to get to the WS was there and if you aren’t going to go for it then, then you can never be in favor of a go for it trade. The bullpen was a shambles. Doo, Madson and Kintzler all did well. it didn’t work out, but I thought the process and timing was right for that one.

    As for why they couldn’t get that performance pout of Treinen, Rivero, or several others? That’s a legit question.

    Wally

    22 Aug 18 at 5:32 pm

  15. I’d shut down Stras. I’d put him on the 10-day instead of the 60-day (unless something is really wrong), just in case a miracle happens and the Nats get back in it, but I wouldn’t even think of pitching him again unless they do.

    I’ve predicted all season that the Phils’ bullpen would do them in. My other prediction was that the Braves didn’t have enough starting pitching. We’ll see.

    Radical thought: why not give another look to Solis as a starter? They don’t seem to trust him as a reliever, but they’ve also got NOTHING as far as lefty starters go in the upper minors. Hard to see him being any worse than Milone.

    KW

    23 Aug 18 at 8:00 am

  16. I’ve been kicking this around and may change my mind on the percentages, but here’s my rough take on how to parcel the blame for the 2018 debacle:

    35% — Mark Lerner, for insisting that Dusty be gone

    20% — Martinez and his inexperience

    20% — Injuries

    15% — Under-performance

    10% — Rizzo

    YMMV.

    KW

    23 Aug 18 at 8:10 am

  17. My mileage does vary (you made me google that)

    40% injuries
    30% improvement by ATL/PHI
    15% underperformance
    15% Dusty to DMart

    Wally

    23 Aug 18 at 10:31 am

  18. I won’t give percentages, just a quick thought on Davey: yes, Dusty would probably have a few more wins at this point in the season and may very well have the team in position for the playoffs. However, I still feel that Davey is the better fit for the team to ultimately win a championship. When the offense was struggling earlier this season and trying to figure out how to reintegrate Eaton and Zim to the lineup my thought was that the team would probably have benefited from having one lineup and letting it play out for a stretch, much like Dusty preached. But I also said that the team would be better off for Davey’s approach if they could get back in the race. That obviously hasn’t happened, but I still think it’s true. I think with better injury luck, more rotation depth and a healthier respect for the rest of the division, Davey will be just fine next season and better positioned for playoff success.

    MG

    23 Aug 18 at 11:15 am

  19. I do agree that it’s accurate to factor ATL/PHI improvement into the equation, but I’d say it’s a smaller factor. The Nats had basically an entire 97-win team returning and should have been better than teams it beat by 25 and 31 games in the standing just a year ago. Nothing flips that quickly without the dominant team really losing its edge.

    I feel a little weird pushing the Dusty thing so hard, as some of his recent comments really reminded me how Dark Ages some of his baseball thinking is. But I’ll refer back to a comment I’ve cited that Boz made in a chat a month or so ago. He said someone in the Nat organization told him that Dusty was absolutely the best manager in baseball for 21 hours a day. There was no one better at keeping the team focused and steady. He was the only manager to get back-to-back great seasons out of this quirky crew. Even a manager as great as Davey Johnson completely “lost” the 2013 squad and didn’t know what to do with it.

    KW

    23 Aug 18 at 1:04 pm

  20. Even if the main criticism of Dusty is that he was only “good” 21 hours a day … that’s still an improvement over Martinez, who hasn’t proven himself to be a good manager for *any* hours of the day so far. To this observer, he held no sway over the veterans, couldn’t keep his clubhouse in order, clearly played player favorites in terms of discipline for similar events (Harper versus Turner lack of hustle e.g.). So Dusty > Martinez for the non-game man-management issues.

    So in order to make any cogent argument that Martinez was a better in-game manager than Dusty … you’d have to tell me that Martinez was markedly better at lineup creation, shifting, strategies, match-ups, bullpen management, etc. is there anyone here who would actually make the argument that Martinez has handled *any* of these these aspects well enough to prefer him to Dusty of last year? He’s ridden starters to the point where they all lead the majors in IP and pitches thrown, he’s struggled with bullpen usage, he’s made questionable non-substitutions, he’s made questionable lineup decisions. His record in 1-run games and his pythag are way, way off the charts bad; that’s almost always a reflection of the manager.

    Todd Boss

    23 Aug 18 at 2:24 pm

  21. Gio, Wieters, and Mr. Walk-off clear waivers. I wonder if they can move Gio or Wieters; certainly someone might be interested in SP or C help, no matter how poor it may be.

    Todd Boss

    23 Aug 18 at 4:12 pm

  22. Would love them to trade gio. I think he. Could back something decent if they eat the money. His peripherals look better than his results, so if you aren’t watching him every day, he’s a maybe.

    Wally

    23 Aug 18 at 9:05 pm

  23. The Nats have now lost nine games that Scherzer started. The most earned runs he surrendered in any of those contests was three (once). In one other loss he gave up five runs, but three were unearned. Not only did lineup under-performance in those losses contribute to blowing the season, but it may end up blowing Max’s CYA. I know folks now say “wins don’t matter,” but if he were sporting the gaudy W-L record he deserves, something like 22-2, along with his other stats, there would be no debate.

    As for Gio, the only point of trading him would be for a team to take most of his salary and help move the Nats toward getting under the luxury tax. Certainly Gio has increased all of our blood pressures over the years and confounded us at key times in the playoffs, but he’s also been one of the real bedrocks for the seven-year winning run. He’s made 211 starts for the Nats, won 86 games, with a 3.60 ERA, 3.44 FIP, .573 winning percentage. He’s generated 22.6 fWAR, an average of 3.23 fWAR per season, making him “worth” basically a $200M contract over that period.

    KW

    24 Aug 18 at 8:07 am

  24. When you lose to a starter with a 7.67 ERA . . . and get shut out for the 13th time, and the second day in a row, . . . man, it’s getting ugly. It’s pretty sad when the only positive to report is that Gio may have increased his trade value.

    KW

    25 Aug 18 at 8:29 am

  25. Sounds like you haven’t quite called ‘uncle’ on the season. Since I have, Gio increasing his trade value is a very good thing. Hopefully they get something for him.

    But the shutout made me think about something. Here’s my theory: the Nats stats make them look relatively good – quite a better run differential than the PHI, etc. but I think this is an example of the stats not telling a good story, and I don’t have the analytical skills to show why. my hunch is that all of the stats are fooled by some pretty lopsided scores in a few games, which is hiding, to a degree, poor performance in many others. Like, how many playoff teams were shut out 13 times in a season? If 5 runs gives you a 90% chance of winning. How many times have they scored 5 and how does that compare to other contenders? That kind of stuff. If I was better at that stuff, i’ll think I could show the Nats padded some stats against poor competition and crapped the bed against others.

    But maybe that’s just a bad supposition on my part.

    Wally

    25 Aug 18 at 2:20 pm

  26. Oh yes, I cried uncle a couple of weeks ago when they blew up their season with the 5-9 road trip. I would be glad for Gio to be traded. They’re nuts if they’re not doing everything they can to get under the luxury tax.

    Now three shutouts in a row, 14 for the season — utterly embarrassing. Yep, Dusty’s teams only got shut out 14 times over two seasons, 7 and 7. Heck, even in the awful 2015, they were only shut out 12 times.

    I see what you’re trying to say about the whole not being as good as the sum of the parts, but I don’t completely buy it. The bridges are leadership and intangibles, and this team has none. It’s essentially the same crew that was dominant in the regular season the last two years.

    I didn’t think Martinez’s job would be in jeopardy, but this is getting ugly.

    KW

    25 Aug 18 at 9:30 pm

  27. But kudos to Roark for turning things around in the midst of the disaster. I literally thought he might be a non-tender candidate over the winter, but he has a 1.61 ERA since the All-Star break.

    KW

    25 Aug 18 at 9:50 pm

  28. Looking ahead:

    https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2016/12/2018-19-mlb-free-agents.html

    The Nats have to add catching. They have no viable alternatives in the system. There’s an outside chance Read could be a #2, but not a #1. So . . . it looks like Grandal and everybody else. I know some continue to jump up and down about getting the Buffalo back, but he’s not going to age well and has always struggled to stay healthy. The rest would be stopgaps.

    What to do at 2B? Maybe they have it covered if Kendrick can start the season and Kieboom can be ready by June. Both scenarios would be gambles. Cheaper FA thoughts might include LeMahieu or Lowrie, but both would be stopgaps. Dozier may end up taking a one- or two-year deal to try to rebuild some value, but I don’t see the Nats spending big at this spot with Kieboom presumably close.

    I think the big question (beyond whether to re-sign Bryce) is whether the Nats will spend big on a starting pitcher. I’ve seen several folks campaigning for Corbin, although I’m wary of his one-season dramatic improvement. I think he’s going to get overpaid. I’m curious what the price would be on Keuchel, who is no longer a #1 but still very solid.

    KW

    26 Aug 18 at 8:42 am

  29. yeah, I think they definitely add a pitcher and catcher, and maybe one of those 2nd tier 2Bs you mentioned.

    But i think the big push will be Grandal and could see them going as high as 4/$48m for him. They really have no alternative.

    For SP, I don’t see it as an expensive add, more like someone in the 3/4 category on a 1/2 year deal, so not Corbin. I’ve been intrigued by Morton, plus i’ve always liked the Al to NL switch.

    Otherwise I think they just go with what they have.

    JRod looked ok again today.

    Wally

    26 Aug 18 at 3:41 pm

  30. The series made my point – Nats drop 2 of 3, yet outscore them 15-6. Stats look great, team sucks

    Wally

    26 Aug 18 at 6:21 pm

  31. At least Stras doesn’t seem to be hurt, which is good news.

    I still don’t know how to factor J-Rod into the future plans. He hasn’t been great at all, but he’s been better than Fedde, who is supposed to be the future.

    Svrluga floating 10/$280M for Bryce. I think I’d do that. It’s probably the outer limit of where I’d go, but it’s worth considering at that number. And frankly, considering market contraction and Bryce’s mediocre season, I’ll be surprised if he gets significantly more.

    It’s also the offseason to make some decisions about Rendon. Could a deal get done now? Several have expressed a preference of extending Rendon over Harper, although I don’t know that it has to be an either/or decision.

    Roark’s contract is also up after ’19. By 2020, he’ll be 33. Decisions, decisions . . .

    KW

    28 Aug 18 at 9:31 am

  32. If we can’t make the playoffs, at least take the Phils down with us! I fear that Max is slipping in the CYA race, though, and Soto needs a big finish for ROY.

    It’ll be interesting to see if Gio and Madson get traded this week.

    I thought the Greg Holland signing was nuts, but he’s been lights out for the Nats.

    KW

    29 Aug 18 at 8:45 am

  33. I agree, Max and Soto are trailing in both races. Max seems to be getting worn down with all the high pitch counts. I wonder if they should
    Skip his next start to let him re energize for this remaining ones. But he really needs de Grom to have a few shaky starts.

    I hope they trade gio. Madsen I’d keep because I don’t think they’ll get anything and there is a 1% chance they get back in the race.

    Wally

    29 Aug 18 at 10:39 am

  34. Don’t care about getting anything back for Gio or Madson; just want to get under the luxury tax. Plug McGowin and Austen Williams into those 40-man slots and see what you’ve got in them.

    KW

    29 Aug 18 at 1:30 pm

  35. . . . and Davey makes more bad pitching decisions, and leaves Gio in to ruin whatever trade value he may have had. Sigh.

    It will be interesting to see if they work out Madson-to-Dodgers. In this situation, I don’t know why they wouldn’t just take the $50K and let the rest of his contract go.

    KW

    30 Aug 18 at 8:09 am

  36. Madson to LAD. I don’t think much of the return but I’m fine with it. The kid they got for Murphy looks like he has potential as a utility guy, which is something.

    Really hoping Gio is gone, and if the Wieters rumors are true and someone takes on meaningful salary, that will be amazing.

    Wally

    31 Aug 18 at 5:42 pm

  37. I wonder whether they really know where they stand with the luxury tax. Rizzo acted like they weren’t sure when he was asked at the press conference following the Murphy and Adams deals. He seemed convinced last year that they were under when in fact they weren’t.

    It’s kind of interesting that they’re willing to let Madson go to a team ahead of them in the WC race. It’s also interesting to contemplate that both the Nats and the Dodgers could miss the playoffs . . .

    KW

    31 Aug 18 at 5:59 pm

  38. I see that Chelsea has tweeted on this subject:

    “My understanding is that Nats front office does NOT expect to get under the luxury tax threshold with these deals. No one seems totally sure, and it’s a weird calculation, but general consensus is that they’re not going to get there.”

    Wanted: someone in the Nat front office who can actually calculate the luxury tax!

    KW

    31 Aug 18 at 6:06 pm

  39. Yeah, they definitely don’t look like they know their way around the luxury tax

    Wally

    31 Aug 18 at 7:11 pm

  40. Gio to Brewers. Too bad he can’t pitch this weekend!

    Wally

    31 Aug 18 at 7:20 pm

  41. Not sad to see Madson or Gio leave. And I don’t think that either completely takes the team out of contention this year.

    If 88 wins makes the playoffs as Rizzo thinks, the Nats need to go 21-7. Essentially they can only lose 1 game in each remaining series and sweep the Marlins. Tough to do especially with a couple of 4 game series remaining, including the Cubs.

    MG

    31 Aug 18 at 7:27 pm

  42. Gio leaving really does seem like the end of an era. He’s increased all of our blood pressures over the years and confounded us at key times in the playoffs, but he’s also been one of the real bedrocks for the seven-year winning run. He’s made 213 starts for the Nats, won 86 games, with a 3.62 ERA, 3.45 FIP, .570 winning percentage. He’s generated 22.6 fWAR, an average of 3.23 fWAR per season, making him “worth” basically a $200M contract over that period. He’s been one of the real cornerstones of the franchise and will be in the Ring of Honor one day.

    KW

    31 Aug 18 at 10:51 pm

  43. I know I need to let it go, but the Nats have had golden opportunities to pick up games in the standings with the Braves losing three in a row. If the Nats had won on Wed. and Fri. they would be only 5.5 back in the division. But they didn’t, and they aren’t.

    KW

    1 Sep 18 at 8:49 am

  44. I’ll bet there are easily 10-15 easily winnable games that would have made this season still winnable. But the team is missing some critical element. So even as far back as the trade deadline, I advocated selling because of this factor, not that the ‘games back’ was too much. Once they got back most of the injured guys and still played the same, there was just no reason to think the team would start playing well. And I do kind of fault Rizzo for not seeing that.

    You can blame this on the manager – maybe that’s right, I dunno, but I don’t have the mojo to go through that argument again. But the lion’s share has to be the players.

    Wally

    1 Sep 18 at 1:46 pm

  45. Here’s a KW special just in time for Labor Day; Seth Romero had T.J. surgery last week :-)

    And given the complete lack of information on Denaburg, I wonder if the same is true for him?

    Wally

    3 Sep 18 at 5:05 pm

  46. Just new-posted on Romero with a rant on the drafting this team has done in general over the past few years…

    Todd Boss

    4 Sep 18 at 10:00 am

Leave a Reply